Qian Li Xiang “Thousand Mile Aroma” Wu Yin Rock Oolong Tea

Enjoying an exquisite oolong tea gongfu style and scratching a few tunes on my fiddle. Life is good.

I didn’t have coasters for my tea set, so I pressed sweet gum leaves from my back yard.

I ordered the tea from Yunnan Sourcing. This particular tea was made this past spring and it was delicious! Preparing the tea gongfu style forces you to slow down and savor the entire experience of preparing and drinking the tea. It is a great way to wrap up a practice session or take a break from writing.

By the time I finished my tea Dear Old Dad hollered for me. He made one of his breakfast suppers! Joy! Life is better than good!

Thanksgiving Dinner – Live!

We will be setting a place at our table and setting up our camera so that you can take part in our Thanksgiving dinner.

To tune in, just head to our YouTube channel on Thursday, November 22 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Why are we doing this? Well, 2018 has not been an easy year for me. Health issues, the death of a dear friend and the death of my wife turned my whole world upside-down. As the holiday season crept closer I became painfully aware that there are a lot of people who will be feeling lonely on Thanksgiving. Setting a place at the table and offering people the opportunity to tune in to the kitchen sounds and conversation struck me as a way to spread a little bit of sunshine.

If you haven’t met my family yet my mom’s latest video is a good introduction:

I hope you will tune in this Thanksgiving!

God bless,

Cranberry Orange Bread

Miss Trudy and Dear Old Dad make one of our favorite holiday season treats!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Today Mr. Pat and I made cranberry orange bread. Many years ago, my sister-in-law took me to a Christian ladies meeting. During the meeting prizes were awarded. These gifts were homemade. I won a loaf of cranberry orange bread with the recipe. The bread and recipe were from Pat Shea. This happened in the early 1980’s and we have made this bread each fall. I will share this gift with you.

Cranberry Orange Bread
From Pat Shea

Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 ½ tsp. of baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt (I use less) and a scant cup of sugar. Cut in 2 tbsp. of butter and the grated rind of 1 orange. Juice the orange and add enough water to make ¾ cup. Beat one egg and add to the batter with one cup raw cranberries, cut into halves. Mix well. then pour batter into a greased pan. This makes one 9x5x3 pan or 2 small loaves. Bake 350 degrees for 55 to 60 min. I test for doneness using a strand of dry pasta. If the pasta comes out with batter on it, it is not done. Cool on rack 15 min. then remove from pan. Enjoy!

I want to talk with you about young children and their behavior at this time of year. First it is very important that you understand that young children think concretely. Time is an abstract concept. Now is the time to plan for the days ahead. Young children are targeted by advertisers on the TV and in stores. Please, as a parent or primary caregiver make a decision as to how you want to make this time of year special. The more time you spend with children creating, celebrating with songs and making gifts for others the clearer the true meaning of Christmas will be.

Oh dear! Now about Santa. I happened to be present when a child confronted his mom about the “Characters” Easter Bunny, Santa etc. and telling the truth. It was not a happy memory! My mom explained that there was only one real Santa and that was St. Nicholas. He lived long ago and wanted children to be happy. When you see other Santa’s today, they want children to be happy and are playing a part. I believe a young child can understand that it is Jesus’s birthday. Because He loves us so much, he wants to share His birthday with us. Christmas expectations have somehow grown beyond practical expectations. Children will not remember what gift they received. They will remember you spending time with them. I like to think we are packing a suitcase that they will carry with them throughout life. What do you want to pack for them?
I encourage you to play, sing, read and spend time together. Teach them
to give with joy and receive with appreciation. God bless you and may the
holidays ahead be filled with blessings.

God Bless,

Go With The Flow

David writes:

So I started out like most people probably do, learning songs from the tabs in The How and the Tao and from your other books. I’ve managed to memorize a dozen songs or so, but I don’t think it’s the right path. I can’t see how a person can possibly memorize the melody of every song that might come up at a jam. So when you’re doing an instrumental break like you did on The Wreck of the Old 97, are you playing that from memory / tab, or are you improvising it on the spot? Is it necessary to have the song memorized (like from tab) or is there some way to learn to play the melody break by ear?


Continuing A Tradition

Every Thanksgiving for the last fifteen years – probably longer – our friend C.C. would show up at our door with a Smith Island carrot cake and a bucket of his homemade Chex mix.

Smith Island cakes are huge and rich. The three of us could never eat a whole cake, so every year we would up sharing the cake with our neighbors. It was always a joyous thing . . .

C.C. passed away this year. I’m still having a little trouble processing that. I love him like a brother.

Anyway, I am heading down the street to the Smith Island Baking Company tomorrow to order a carrot cake for Thanksgiving. I don’t want to give up the experience of sharing cake with our neighbors, and a small way to remember our friend.

I miss you, C.C.